ME: So, Mr. Very Famous Author, I hope that you are as excited to come to GW as we are to have you in residence this coming spring.
FAMOUS AUTHOR: Indeed I am.
ME: It’s a big deal for us, and we’d like to celebrate it.
FAMOUS AUTHOR: I see.
ME: I’ve been charged with obtaining a quote from you for our press release. What would you like to say?
FAMOUS AUTHOR: Well, it has been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of being in a classroom. I last taught at Princeton oh, five or six years ago. I’m looking forward to working with the GW undergraduates.
ME: That’s it?
FAMOUS AUTHOR: That’s not enough?
ME: I was hoping for something like “I am so eager to become a member of the GW English Department, recognized around the cosmos for its excellence in everything it does. I am especially looking forward to working with the chair, Jeffrey J. Cohen, because I know him to be the best department chair around. He is a brilliant man and the real reason I signed up to teach at GW.”
FAMOUS AUTHOR: That goes without saying.
ME: No it doesn’t! I can’t put it in the press release if you don’t say it.
FAMOUS AUTHOR: Hahahaha.
Well, he didn’t ever say the words I tried to put into his mouth, but I know he was thinking them. Here, for the record, is what he did say:
I am looking forward to joining such a lively English Department. I’m also eager to be in an undergraduate classroom, affecting writers at a pivotal time in their lives.
Look for our official announcement here and around the university very soon.